Chartered flights between China and Vietnam’s Danang resume

Update:28 Jul 2014

Many Chinese visitors come to Danang City and then extend their visits to neighboring destinations such as Hoi An and Hue.

Travel agencies have re-started chartered flights to transport travelers from China to the central coast city of Danang after months of interruption due to tensions in the East Sea sparked by China’s illegal deployment of a giant oil rig and a large number of escort ships in Vietnam’s waters.

After the Hangzhou-Danang air route was reconnected last week with two weekly flights, the flights from China’s Xi’an, Kunming and Chengdu to Danang City will return to normal next month, said Tran Chi Cuong, deputy director of the city’s Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

Chartered flights are expected to carry passengers from Xi’an to Danang on August 7 while the Kunming-Danang route is set to be relaunched on August 18.

"Four air routes resume first and more will be reopened later until the year-end,” Cuong said.

China is the biggest foreign visitor-generating market for Danang City with more than 100,000 Chinese tourist arrivals recorded last year. Most of them traveled to the central coast city on chartered flights.

China illegally placed its Haiyang Shiyou-981 oil rig in Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone and continental shelf in the East Sea in early May, triggering tensions between Vietnam and China. As a consequence, the chartered flights on 13 air routes linking China and Danang were called off on May 23, leading to significant decreases in room occupancy at the hotels and resorts along the coast of Vietnam.

However, the situation has improved these days, Cuong said. The average room occupancy of hotels serving Chinese tourists has increased from 15% in May to 25% last month and around 60% this month.

According to the Danang Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the city attracted some 1.8 million visitors in the first half of this year, up 15.8% year-on-year. The number included 450,000 foreigners, rising by 15% over the same period last year.


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